Shipping of Dangerous Goods

The shipping of dangerous goods is regulated by various entities, including International Air Transport Association (IATA), US Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  Regulated dangerous goods includes chemicals, biohazards, preservatives of biological materials (ex: dry ice), radioactive materials, and batteries.

University of Miami (UM) personnel must adhere to all shipping regulations, as penalties for improper shipping can include fines for you, fines for the university, as well as criminal charges. All UM personnel intending to ship must complete the Shipping of Dangerous Goods training, available on Blackboard, as a first step in the shipping process.  This training must be maintained biennially.  If you are shipping biological materials of any kind, including benign materials such as DNA or proteins, you must also complete the Shipping of Biological Materials training offered via webinar only.  This training is modified each session to ensure the content directly matches your specific shipment.  Please see the training page for more details.  If you do not know if you are shipping dangerous goods contact EHS at 305-243-3400.

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  • Shipping Biological or Chemical Materials

    • Biological and chemical materials can be shipped by anyone trained and certified to do so.
    • Please note that preservatives for biological materials, such as dry ice and formalin, as well as lithium batteries that might go in a device being shipped are regulated chemicals that adhere to the same requirements as any other dangerous good.

  • Shipping of Dangerous Goods Training Requirements

    • There are two parts to shipping training: an online general shipping training, and an in person/webinar training specific to the materials you will be shipping. Shipping training is required by both shippers, and anyone else in the lab involved with the packing and preparing of a sample for shipment.  The online training portion must be completed every two (2) years.  The Shipping of Dangerous Goods training can be completed at and typing “Shipping” in the search box.
    • Once complete, please reach out to EHS and to schedule the second portion of your training. The in person/webinar training is meant to provide specific guidance directly relevant to the materials you’re shipping, how to properly pack those materials, and how to adhere to all relevant regulations.  When reaching out, provide detail on the types of materials you will be shipping out, all biologicals, preservatives, and chemicals involved.  A training specific to your needs will be scheduled and provided.  This training is only required once, however we are happy to provide it upon request in the future if desired.
    • Please see our training page for more information regarding shipping training and registration.
    • Additional online trainings, such as IATA available on ULearn, are encouraged as supplemental instruction, however EHS shipping training is required for all biological and chemical shipments leaving UM.

  • Shipping Radioactive Material

    The shipping of radioactive material can only be done by the Division of Radiation Control

  • Import and Export Permits

    Permits may be required for importing/exporting biological materials.  If you're unsure whether an agent may require a permit, it's advisable to apply for the permit and let the permitting agency determine whether a permit is needed or not.  Applying for a permit is based on the agent pathogenicity. International shipments may be subject to import permits of the recieving country, applied for by your intended recipient, and must be in place prior to shipping samples.

    • Human pathogens are subject to CDC permits.
      • CDC permitting is required for international imports of foreign biological agents, human disease, and vectors of human disease.
    • Animal and plant pathogens are subject to USDA permits.
      • USDA permitting is required for the import, transit, and release of regulated veterinary biologics, plants, plant products, pests, organisms, soil, and genetically engineered organisms.  These permits are required domestically for both interstate and intrastate shipments.

  • Nature of Shipment Document

    For both domestic and especially international shipments, packages are subject to being open and investigated by both the transporting entity and customs, as applicable.  We recommend included a letter detailing the nature of teh shipment inside of your package to ensure any parties opening and reviewing your package can quickly glean relevant information to assist in an expedient review, and hence encourage a more timely delivery.  A template is provided below for your review and consideration.